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“Jurisdiction” is a power given by law to hear and decide controversies.  The term jurisdiction has three aspects in administrative law such as:

  • personal jurisdiction, referring to the agency’s authority over the parties and intervenors involved in the proceedings;
  • subject matter jurisdiction, referring to an agency’s power to hear and determine the causes of a general class of cases to which a particular case belongs; and
  • the agency’s scope of authority under statute.[i]

An administrative agency is without subject matter jurisdiction, if it lacks the statutory power to consider a matter.[ii]  The determinations of administrative agencies are valid only if they have jurisdiction.[iii]

[i] Davis v. Chicago Police Bd., 268 Ill. App. 3d 851 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 1994)

[ii] Livingston Manor, Inc. v. Department of Social Services, Div. of Family Services, 809 S.W.2d 153 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 1991)

[iii] Business and Professional People for Public Interest v. Illinois Commerce Com’n, 136 Ill. 2d 192, 144 Ill. Dec. 334, 555 N.E.2d 693, 117 Pub. Util. Rep. 4th (PUR) 405 (1989)

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